NIRVANA is a Sanskrit word that means "blowing out" or "extinguishing." In Buddhism, it refers to the state of perfect enlightenment or liberation from suffering. When we achieve nirvana, we are free from the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth (SAMSARA).
Nirvana is not a place, but rather a state of mind. It is characterized by wisdom, compassion, and equanimity. A person who has achieved nirvana is free from all cravings, attachments, and aversions. They are also free from all negative emotions, such as anger, hatred, and jealousy.
The Buddha taught that the path to nirvana is the Eightfold Path.
By following the Eightfold Path, we can develop the wisdom and compassion necessary to end suffering and achieve nirvana.
Here is a simpler version:
Nirvana is a state of perfect happiness and freedom from suffering. It is the goal of Buddhism.
The marks and seals of nirvana are a set of teachings that describe the characteristics of nirvana. There are three different sets of marks and seals of nirvana, each with a slightly different emphasis.
The Three Dharma Seals
The Three Dharma Seals are the most common set of marks and seals of nirvana. They are:
- Impermanence: All things change and eventually come to an end.
- Suffering: All conditioned things are ultimately unsatisfactory.
- Non-self: There is no unchanging, independent self.
Nirvana is the state of being free from impermanence, suffering, and non-self. It is a state of perfect peace and liberation.
The Four Dharma Seals
The Four Dharma Seals are a less common set of marks and seals of nirvana. They are:
- Impermanence: All compounded things are impermanent.
- Suffering: All contaminated things are suffering.
- Emptiness: All phenomena are empty and devoid of self.
- Nirvana: Nirvana is true peace.
This set of marks and seals emphasizes the emptiness of all phenomena, including nirvana itself.
The Seals of Nirvana in the Mahayana Tradition
The Mahayana tradition of Buddhism has its own set of seals of nirvana. These seals are:
- Non-duality: Nirvana and samsara are not two separate things. They are one and the same.
- Emptiness: Nirvana is empty of all concepts and phenomena.
- Compassion: Nirvana is motivated by compassion for all beings.
This set of seals emphasizes the non-duality of nirvana and samsara, as well as the compassionate nature of nirvana.
All of these sets of marks and seals of nirvana point to the same thing: nirvana is a state of perfect peace and liberation that is free from impermanence, suffering, and non-self.
It is important to note that these are just conceptual descriptions of nirvana. Nirvana is ultimately beyond words and concepts. It can only be experienced directly through meditation and spiritual practice.